Loans, financial services not possible for college students during strike

During the current support staff strike, students at Ontario's 24 community colleges may not be able to get loans and take advantage of other financial services offered by the province. College councillors who help students with financial issues and OSAP applications are among the 8,000 striking workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The colleges have said they will continue to operate during the strike, but as expected, there have already been a number of delays and an overall decline in service for students. President at St. Lawrence College, Chris Whitaker, told the Canadian Press the colleges are trying to minimize delays for students looking to obtain loans. "We've got our managers covering off, so working in the academic school offices to deal with students coming in, releasing financial aid documents to students who are coming in for OSAP," Whitaker said. For the upcoming first week of classes, Peterborough's Fleming College has cancelled all their loan appointments, while Georgian College in Barrie had said new loans will not be processed during the strike. Contract talks between the two sides stuck as workers were asking for more job security and better wages. OPSEU, before the strike, rejected a final offer provided by the colleges which included a 4.75 per cent wage increase over a 3 year period. The union says it went on strike because the colleges demanded too many concessions from their existing contract.    
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